Friday, October 1, 2010

What is going on

Here, have a picture (the quality is terribly poor)

Ohhh senior year, what is happening to me. I'm starting to become less and less confident with the level of original work i'm producing. I don't mean that the technicality of my pieces are poor, but teachers have redundantly repeated "this doesn't look like your own" enough times i'm beginning to question myself. Where exactly am i going with my work? I've always enjoyed experimenting with different mediums, and my style varies greatly depending on the idea i'm conveying. Is this a bad thing? Is it wrong to think differently on each assignment? I see my peers, and understand what my teacher is saying, you all have a distinct way of working, no matter how you choose to work. I can still see that its your art, but not with me it seems. I'm fearful I might never find that comfort zone. Maybe I am too influenced off the amazing work i see everyday, that the honest to goodness voice inside myself has quieted down, and I can no longer hear it. Or maybe I am that one artist who does discard their style like a snake sheds its skin, moving on to the next thing that intrigues me, never really glancing back. Lately I've had the lingering notion that my art has plateau'd, so maybe the right answer is to buckle down, suck it up, and pick something. I certainly can't come up with a conclusion right now, maybe in this case i should just wait it out, see what survives.

I hope this doesn't appear melancholy, it's just a topic that has been recycling through my head all semester, and i felt like i needed to share. The only question i am begging to ask is, how do you separate yourself from your influences and find what is true to you? do you make that conscious decision to draw in a certain fashion, or does it merely manifest itself?


Roman K. Pougatchev said...

The best thing that will ever happen to your work is graduation from college. After which you will finally have the chance to be alone with your art.

Rin said...

agreed. i think thats exactly what i need right now, time to think and be alone with my art. Hearing you say that is a real relief. its nice to know the possibility of me improving rises after graduating, and NOT slipping into "oh my god what the hell do i do" for the first couple of years (which is what i expect will happen a little bit, no matter what).

Speaking of graduates! how is your stuff coming along? =)

Aaron M Berger said...

You're art feels like yours, if it doesn't have a apparent trademark well give it time and something will appear. honestly I feel like I can tell your pieces from the drawing, and sometimes the color.

I want to talk about the picture you gave us.

I like it alot. the only thing I have a problem with is the boys body, his heads fine, but I feel like his body is facing the viewer too much. everything else is like super awesome. from the cloudy head to the girls posture to the quivering chest and heart. i just don't like how the boy is facing the viewer and his arms feel weird. like i'm not sure if he's aware of his heart being stolen or if he's trying to embrace the girl.

If you think you're work has hit some sort of glass ceiling then i would look through you body of work and look for things you haven't really touched and try to do them. to push yourself y'know? like there is a point where you can no longer really experiment with medium and you have to find something else to push you.

this is just me brainstorming but what if you did a crowd piece. you usually have up to 1 or 2 characters in each of your illustrations, what if you did a huge crowd piece. how would you deal with that?

just and idea. I personally just want to see more of your work.

Rebecca Q Yankes said...

I don't comment on your blog, like, ever, but I think you're raising an important question. I know you've been told often that your work looks like that of other artists. I thought that for a while, too. But it's been changing a lot in the past year or so. Your art is easily identified as your own (at least I don't have a hard time picking it out of a crowd). You've always been waaay ahead of the rest of our class, so in a way you've ALWAYS been easy to pick out, but now things are have a natural way of putting medium to paper (and I include digital in that), a natural sense of line and composition and color.

Shanth Enjeti told me this once, in Illustration I: "Your personal style is exactly where your talent stops." What he meant is that you can be informed by other artists, and you can study real life around you, but honestly you can only be as realistic or stylized as your talent allows. His argument is that you shouldn't pursue a particular style; you should pursue the truth (as you perceive it) above all else, and style just naturally follows.

You are a great observer. Your natural science pieces and your figure drawing skills are excellent (and of course your concepts, but that's not necessarily the point here). There is always room for growth. I think you should just keep striving to make a better picture, and don't worry about people comparing you to other artists.

On the other hand, if you are afraid you're being pigeonholed, why not try studying some artists you usually don't? I found that my work changed a lot after I started looking much closer at Caravaggio. Just a thought...

Rin said...

thanks you guys for the kind comments ill take everything you say to mind, it really helps! =)

Anonymous said...

You have too much talent to be worried about what's going to happen after college! I think it's natural for any artist to be concerned, I know I am, but I look back at the past 4 years and have squat to show for it.. You have an awesome portfolio, and a unique style, you don't have anything to worry about!

PBandJ said...

I think I know exactly what you mean. I too often notice a shifting style or even lack of style in my illustrations.

I'd say don't worry too much about style because when you do, you start to over think it and things appear to go wrong.(this coming from personal experience)Your style its something that should just flow naturally. Plus your style is something that does not have to be set in stone and can change over time.
If you feel like your way of working fluctuates much more rapidly than other artist that could just be something that sets you apart from them. Your much more willing to change and adapt.
Even with a changing style your artwork will always be made by you and you will bring your individual sensibility to the piece. You might not notice it but its there and that it what will make your work unique.

Then again I could be wrong, this is just the approach that's been helping me.

MJC *-* said...

I clicked in Google on a sketch thinking it was a sketch of James Jean that I didn't seen before.:) After reading this post I personally think that a strong style is neccesary to separate you from the pack/someone else. If you notice that your illustration looks too much the same...I would move away from it. I think that the solution for this is: Collect all kind of reference pictures that you like. Focus on what YOU want to draw. That's passion and if you love it, embrace it, Work in a serie. Don't be afraid that you will never find a comfortzone, because you will. I think that if you produce A LOT of work, at (least one illustration a week), your style will find you, you won't have to seek for it. It will come out.